MANILA — The recent rescue by China's navy of two Filipino fishermen in the South China Sea is a reminder of interconnectedness and an example of cooperation, it's embassy said over the weekend.
In a Facebook post, the embassy said the Filipino fishers approached the People's Liberation Army Navy vessel "Aba" because one of them had "suffered wounds inflicted by propeller blades and began losing blood."
After initial examination, the embassy said PLAN medics brought the wounded fisherman aboard their vessel and treated the injury.
It added that the PLAN provided the Filipinos with drinking water, antibiotics, and painkillers before transferring them "safely to the Philippine side."
"This story reminds us that we are all interconnected, regardless of nationality," the embassy said.
It added it was "moved" by the reported rescue, and that it "serves as an example of what we can achieve when we work together, and we hope it inspires more such acts in the future."
MEANWHILE, NEAR SCARBOROUGH
Meanwhile, Filipino fisherman Arnel Satam on Friday was chased by speedboats of the Chinese coast guard in the shallow waters of Scarborough Shoal off Zambales province.
In a high-seas chase lasting several minutes, Satam tried in vain to outrun the faster boats in the hope of slipping inside the ring of reefs controlled by China, where fish are more abundant.
Friday's pursuit was witnessed by AFP journalists on board the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ship BRP Datu Bankaw, which was delivering food, water, and fuel to Filipino fishermen plying the contested waters, sometimes for weeks on end.
The fishermen complained that China's actions at Scarborough Shoal were robbing them of a key source of income and a place to shelter safely during a storm.
"I want to fish in there," a defiant Satam, 54, told journalists as he stood barefoot on his light blue outrigger bearing a Superman "S" emblem.
"I do this thing often. They already chased me earlier today," he said, adding the Chinese speedboats had bumped his vessel.
"I just laughed at them."
Scarborough Shoal is 240 kilometers west of Luzon and nearly 900 kilometers from the nearest major Chinese land mass of Hainan.
Under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which China helped negotiate, countries have jurisdiction over the natural resources within about 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) of their shore.
China, which claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, snatched control of Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in 2012.
Since then, it has deployed coast guard and other vessels to block or restrict access to the fishing ground that has been tapped by generations of Filipinos.
— with Cecil Morella, Agence France-Presse